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You’re Beautiful for Owning That Mistake

One of the best ways to promote the pursuit of truth is to not be melodramatic when people make mistakes and sincerely own them.

“We all make mistakes” > “Ha, I told you so”

“What matters is that you understand where you went wrong and how to fix it” > “You just got owned”

Praise people for being honest instead of bashing them for having flaws and imperfections that they need to be honest about.

Discovering our errors is a beautiful thing. How beautiful would it be if we didn’t make people feel ugly about that?

The Game Is Bigger than the Play

Photo by Max Winkler on Unsplash

In every basketball game, the winning team experiences:

  • Missed shots
  • Bad fouls
  • Lapses on defense
  • Turnovers on offense
  • Objectionable calls made against their team by the referee
  • Negative reactions from the crowd
  • Heated disagreements or frustrating moments of miscommunication between teammates

The moral: you don’t need every single play to go your way in order to control the tempo, execute your strategy, weather the storms, adapt to the challenges of the moment, and dial it in when it matters most.

To play the game, you have to remember that the game is bigger than the play.

Learning Is the Ultimate Motivational Tool

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Most people feel unmotivated not because they lack good pep talks, but because they lack good perspective.

The key to inspiration is better information.

When you understand how things work, you’re less vulnerable to self-defeating assumptions about how those things won’t work for you.

Instead of forcing yourself to feel successful and productive, try to understand something new. Seek out a different vantage point.

When you can think clearly, critically, and creatively about things, your feelings and actions will follow.

Is That Woo Woo You’re Using?

Photo by Samuel Austin on Unsplash

I have a term I’d like to coin: “The fear of woo-wooing out.”

Should I call this FOWO?

Anyway, here’s the idea: the fear of woo-wooing out is when you hesitate to do things that are fun, fulfilling, or useful to you because your friends might think you’re being too weird, too new-agey, or too unscientific. No one wants to be accused of practicing “woo woo.”

Example: Let’s say you like to practice guided imagery meditations, or creative visualization exercises, or positive affirmations because they put you in a space where you feel more focused and motivated, BUT…you’re not sure if the scientific community has reached a consensus about how those activities affect human performance.

Are you being delusional? Are you engaging in wishful thinking? Is this merely the placebo effect at work?

I’m no Neil deGrasse Tyson, but here’s my two cents:

It’s not “woo woo” if it actually works for you.

Your personal experience is a lab where ideas can be put to the test.

Experimenting with ideas and sticking with what proves useful is not being woo woo. That’s being a pragmatic individual who understands the relative and real value of subjective experience.

If something consistently delivers the outcomes and advantages you want, you don’t need the permission of your local physics professor to do it.

As long as you don’t preach your personal strategies as some kind of universal philosophy that works for all people in all conditions, you’re entirely free to do what works for you. As long as you don’t equate “this works for me” with ” this is objectively true and everyone else should do it too, ” you’re safe from woo woo.

It doesn’t matter if your tools and techniques are quirky. What matters is your willingness to measure them by the results they generate in your own life.

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